How does eligibility differ by state, and why? Although the C.D.C. issued recommendations last month for which groups states should initially vaccinate, while vaccine supply is still relatively low, priorities are non-binding and each state has its own groups. Nor can the federal government require states to change the priority plans they have already announced, although new pressure from Mr. Azar and growing public impatience as deaths from the virus continue to reach new peaks, leading many to can encourage them to do so. When coming up with priority groups, government officials took into account criteria such as who is most likely to die if they contract Covid-19 – including people of color, as well as the elderly and the sick – and which professions are crucial for the economy to fully reopen. Each state's unique demographics also played a role.
I qualify now. How do I register?
This depends a lot on the state or even the county in which you live. Some local public health departments have set up portals where people can make appointments; others hold massive vaccination events and vaccinate people on a first-come, first-served basis. In general, doctors' offices and pharmacies have asked patients and customers not to call for a vaccination appointment yet, and instead to wait to be contacted. Most pharmacies don't offer the vaccine yet, but CVS, Walgreens and a number of other pharmacy chains, including some in grocery stores and big-box stores, will soon start doing so through a partnership with the federal government.
With the federal government saying that the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions should then be vaccinated, what happens to key workers whose job requires them to come face to face with other people? Do they qualify now?
In some states, yes. Health workers in every state were the first to be offered the vaccine. And before Mr. Azar this week, several states had already opened up vaccination for certain categories of key frontline workers, such as police officers, firefighters, teachers, childcare workers and public transportation workers. But other states that planned to offer the vaccine to some key workers in the coming weeks may now give it a new priority, based on Mr. Azar's new guidelines. There's nothing stopping states from opening up vaccination to a new priority group before reaching everyone in a previous group, but the offer is an important consideration.
How many vaccine doses does the United States have access to? So far, Pfizer and Moderna, the only two companies whose vaccines are approved for emergency use here, have jointly committed to providing 400 million doses over the next seven months. Both vaccines require two doses, so that's enough for 200 million people, out of about 260 million who are currently eligible for vaccination. Children under 16 are not yet eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, and children under 18 cannot yet use Moderna & # 39; s. Johnson & Johnson, which has a single-dose candidate vaccine in late-stage clinical trials, has a contract with the federal government to provide 12 million doses by the end of February, and a total of 100 million doses by the end of June. But the company is lagging behind the production schedule.